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U.S. has pledged to lift economic sanctions on Sudan next October: Ghandour

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Sudan's Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour (SUNA Photo)
Sudan’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour Thursday said his government received American pledges to repeal permanently the economic embargo on Sudan next October if the two countries continue the bilateral cooperation.

Speaking to reporters in Khartoum following the return of President Omer al-Bashir from a tour in the Gulf countries included United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, Ghandour said he received a phone call from the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan.

"I received a long telephone call from the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State after July 12, in which he pledged to lift sanctions on Sudan by October 12 if the cooperation between the two countries continues at the same pace in the agreed five tracks," said Ghandour.

Ghandour added that the US official had expressed Washington’s desire to establish "positive relations" with Sudan. "Also, I conveyed to him Khartoum’s desire to normalize relations with the most important and largest country in the world," Ghandour said.

After the delay of the sanctions relief on 12 July, the State Department pointed to the need to discuss human rights, religious freedom and Sudan’s commitment to UN sanctions on North Korea.

President Omer al-Bashir’s agreement to the request of Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman to resume the meetings of joint committee on the sanctions "means institutional and positive communication with Washington, but also affirms Riyadh’s supportive stance to lift sanctions on Sudan." said Ghandour.

He disclosed that the Saudi Crown Prince demanded to communicate with the State Department, Pentagon (Defence Department), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the CIA to clear all the outstanding issues.

Observers in Khartoum believe that the purpose of al-Bashir’s visit to UAE and Saudi Arabia was mainly to discuss the lift of sanctions. Mayn thought it was related to the ongoing rift between the Gulf countries and the tiny state of Qatar which is accused of supporting terrorism.

The top diplomat said the condemnation of support to terrorism in the joint communiqué issued at the end of the visit of Sudanese president to Saudi Arabia does not target any country, and reiterated Sudan’s neutrality on the conflict.

He further said al-Bashir will visit soon Kuwait and Qatar within the ongoing efforts to end rift.

(ST)

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